(9/26/2010 WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli)
More than three months after it crashed into the downtown seawall at Washington Street, the King County Water Taxi vessel Rachel Marie is close to returning to service. This morning, King County Department of Transportation spokesperson Rochelle Ogershok confirms that the Rachel Marie begins its post-repairs sea trials today. (Thanks to Eileen for the tip.) The Argosy Cruises boat that used to handle the West Seattle-to-downtown run, the Sightseer, has filled in for most of the runs since the crash, which sent seven people to the hospital last September 26. Ogershok says they should know in a few days when the Rachel Marie will be officially back in service; meantime, a U.S. Coast Guard District 13 spokesperson says the investigation is still “ongoing.”
ADDED 1:26 PM: USCG Lt. Jon Lane provided a little more information about the investigation’s status: He says there will be a formal announcement for the media later this week, saying that Coast Guard investigators have “determined the causal factors” but won’t be able to go public with them “until the investigative report is finalized at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound and then reviewed and approved by Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington D.C.” Lt. Lane says that’s likely to take at least two more months.